Raschker sets World marks in warm weather at USA Masters Championships


Jared Slinde
Communications Intern
USA Track & Field

ORONO, MAINE - In the year in which she reached her 60th birthday, Philla "Phil" Raschker celebrated with a pair of World Records at the USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships here Thursday on a warm and windy day on the campus of the University of Maine.

More than 1,100 athletes ages 30 to 95+ are in Orono competing in the national championships. The USA Masters Championships continue through Sunday.

Raschker (Marietta, Ga.) reached marks never seen before in the W60 Pentathlon (4,953 points) and in the 80m hurdles (13.60 seconds).

"For this day, this is what I had planned," Raschker said of the dual record performance. "In the pentathlon this is the only day all year we do it and that was my goal. After this I am going to enjoy myself. From this time forward I really want to stay healthy."

Raschker reached the pentathlon record with the following performances: 80m hurdles - 13.60; high jump - 1.36 meters; shot put - 7.93m; long jump - 4.49m; 800m - 2 minutes 54.05 seconds.

As the wind and 90-degree temperatures affected the competitors all day, Raschker, being from Georgia, felt right at home.

"I like the hot the weather," she said. "I really appreciated it. The wind was tougher than anything."

As bizarre as it sounds, Raschker called her world record in the 80m hurdles "ugly." She struggled with the start and had to adjust her stride due to the closeness between the hurdles.

"Seven meters (the distance between the hurdles) is too close for me," she said. "I had to make changes and go from left to right over the hurdles and not run on top of them. Actually most of the time I have run world records I had a strong head wind."

Pope wins again

Brian Pope was quick to admit that his times haven't been quite what they were in the past.

"When you see yourself kind of declining that is sometimes hard to take," said Pope, who will turn 45 at the end of the year.

But Pope went on to comment that times aren't nearly as important as the place you finish at a national championship. And his time of 15:55.18 in the 5,000m was good enough to claim top honors in the male 40-44 age group.

"I have dropped off some," said Pope, the reigning world champion in the 5,000m and 10,000m and 5,000m American record holder of 14:17.36, which he set in 2004. "The weather wasn't the greatest either, but the times aren't important."

Pope will also compete in the 10,000m final on Saturday.

Other winners Thursday included:

Men's 5,000m run winners were Kareem Lanier of Lincoln, Neb. (M30, 17:21.72), Craig Chase of Reston, Va. (M60, 18:13.79), Stephen Chantry of Williamsburg, Va. (M50, 17:06.31) Daniel Verrington of Bradford, Mass., (M45, 16:16.43), Tom Bernhard of Fremont, Calif., (M55, 17:33.56), Harold Nolan of Navesink, N.J., (M60, 18:59.60), Gerard Malaczynski of Bloomfield, Mich., (M65, 19:41.78).

Shot put winner were Derek Michaud of Medford, Mass., (M30, 12.22m), James Barr of Arlington, Vir., (M35, 12.82m), Glenn Thompson of Harrisburg, Penn., (M40, 16.47m), Warren Taylor of Columbia, Penn., (M45, 13.28m), John Nespoli of Collierville, Tenn., (M50, 16.75m), Charles Roll of Fanwood, N.J., (M60, 16.35m), Carl Wallin of Lebanon, N.H., (M65, 12.87m)

Men's pole vault winners were Matti Kilpelainen of Canton, MI (M60, 3.60m), Terry Cannon of Springfield, Ore., (M65, 3.20m), Bob Land of Peterborough (M70, 2.60m), David Rider of Englewood, Fla., (M75, 2.10m), Denver Smith of Louisville, Ohio, (M80, 2.00m).

Women's 5,000m winners were Barb Lauff of Sterling, Ill., (W35, 19:17.18), Sanya Syrstad of Warrenville, Ill., (W40, 18:37.18), Patty Blanchard of Dieppe, Colo., (W45, 18:32.77), Kathryn Martin of Northport, N.Y., (W55, 18:47.61), Yvonn Tasker-Rothenberg of Jamesville, NY, (W65, 25:08.14), Mary Harada of West Newbury, Mass., (W70, 26:01.85), Thelma Wilson of New York, N.Y., (W75, 27:28.63), Helen Lachman of Portland, Ore., (W80, 48:06.45).

Women's pole vault winners were Pamela Swan of Bowdoin, Maine, (W40, 2.80m), Kay Glynn of Hastings, Iowa, (W50, 2.80m), Hillen Maltzahn of Troy, N.Y., (W55, 2.70m), Phil Raschker of Marietta, Ga.,(W60, 2.30m), Florence Meiler of Shelburne, Vt., (W73, 1.83m).

Women's shot put winners were Wanda Johnson of Tampa, Fla., (W35, 12.32m), Susan Wiemer of Freeport, Maine, (W40, 9.58m), Oneithea Lewis of Bayside, N.Y., (W45, 13.06m), Carol Finsrud of Lockhart, Tex., (W50, 12.39m), Mary Hartzler of Gahanna, Ohio, (W55, 10.65m), Barbara LoPiccolo of Norwich, N.Y., (W60, 9.10m).

Competition continues Friday at 7:30 a.m. starting with the women's racewalk. For more information on the 2007 USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships, including live scoring and webcast, visit www.usatf.org.